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Old Nov 20 2008, 04:48 PM   #1
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Question Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I'm re-reading the Pern books for the umpteenth time, and a few little questions popped up into my mind about N'ton and Sebell:

N'ton: how old is he supposed to be? specifically in DQ and TWD? I never quite figured out his age other then that he was a lot younger then F'lar. And secondly, how did he become Weyrleader at Fort? I can't seem to remember how that transpired - I completely missed it in the books.

Sebell: is he really 20 years older then Menolly? I know Anne's timeline has a mind of its own sometime, but his age doesn't make sense. He was a young man who had just become a Journeyman in Dragonsinger, yet in MHoP we meet him years earlier then he should've been alive! And then, in AtWoP he and Menolly are referred to as young but powerful. Which if he were 20 years older, would make him 45ish and not exactly a young man!

and secondly, why is he always descriped as a brown man? I know he is brown eyed, brown haired, but it seems to be a reoccurring theme for describing his appearance.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on these! TIA!
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Old Nov 20 2008, 04:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I will have to pull my books back out...but I have re read them recently...I am not sure when N'Ton became WeyrLeader at Fort but it was pre planned...He was sent to Fort as a Wingleader when Marta and ? went to Southern...They (Lessa/F'Lar) figured that by the time one of the younger Queens went on a mating flight N'ton would be considered one of Fort's own and not a Benden replacement....
Sebell seems to be a only a few years older than Menolly except for his sudden appearance in MasterHarper where he probably should have been introduced as an apprentice at best rather than a journeyman since as you say He became a new journeyman in Dragonsinger...
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Old Nov 20 2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I've always assumed the he was described as 'brown' as he had a genetic reversion to a skin with a higher melanin content than was common.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 05:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

But we do see Sebell before he actually becomes an apprentice in MHoP. Since he couldn't be until he arrived... I just write that one off as an Anne-consistency and ignore the bit about the recent promotion to Journeyman.
Don't think N'ton's much younger than Lessa.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 09:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I take MHoP with a VERY large grain of salt - including the timeline with Sebell. If it comes to choosing between them, I will ALWAYS go with Dragonsinger.

I'm pretty sure Menolly refers to him as a "brown man" because besides being brown-haired and -eyed, he is very suntanned - possibly from preparing for a mission to Southern, for which he needs to learn how to sail, bait hooks and gut fish...

I'm re-reading the Pern books for the umpteenth time, and a few little questions popped up into my mind about N'ton and Sebell:

Quote:
N'ton: how old is he supposed to be? specifically in DQ and TWD? I never quite figured out his age other then that he was a lot younger then F'lar. And secondly, how did he become Weyrleader at Fort?
In Dragonflight, Naton Impresses from Ramoth's first clutch and becomes N'ton. In Dragonquest, after T'ron's duel with F'lar, when the dissenting Oldtimers are exiled to Southern, N'ton is sent from Benden to Fort to help the new Weyrleader. The plan being that he would become familiar, and become considered a Fort rider by the time Lioth would fly the senior queen and he would become Weyrleader.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Thanks for the answers!

Can't believe I missed the part about N'ton being sent to Fort - I mean i know I sort of skimmed through the book, but still, thought that would have jumped out!

I think I too will stick with the facts from the original books from now on too - the later ones really threw my mind for a loop on several things!

Last edited by Legolas; Nov 20 2008 at 09:56 PM. Reason: used wrong word
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Old Nov 21 2008, 12:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Could its also be that Sebell comes from Southern Boll their skin tan faster in the souther part of Pern the tropical and warm parts? Like in Nerat, Ista, and Igen too.

Somewhere along the book DS (HH2) his is Robintion oldest journeyman in the hall, resting in betwen his travels so he become Menolly mentor while he is in the hall.

DD (HH3) Menolly get to do the same for Piemur had Menolly as his mentor for Sebell is "journey" around for Robinton.

N'ton is a striping a teenager/young man craftbred from Nabol if I recall right, he also is helping out with the view of the Red Star too.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 04:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Why can't Sebell simply be ethnically brown-skinned? Simplest solution, no?
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Old Nov 21 2008, 06:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Kath, it would, but if we take People of Pern as canon (too), and I do, he's just yanned/lightly brown skinned. Light was said, like any person coming from Southern Boll.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 07:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

In DD (HH3) Piemur said to Robinton that Sebell had been tanned in winter so strong that his skin looks brawn
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Old Nov 21 2008, 09:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Quote:
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Why can't Sebell simply be ethnically brown-skinned? Simplest solution, no?
I think of Sebell as Mediterrandean/Arabic/Indian (as India the country), but a light enough shade of that type of ethnic mix that he can tan.

If there is a movie, I hope that they do pick someone of that ethnic background to play him.

Right now, I would probably pick the Indian doctor from Heroes to play him. That's my picture of him, and I'm sticking to it.

GH
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Old Nov 21 2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

As I recall, Sebell is very young in MHoP when he comes to Harper Hall. I always assumed he might be about 10 or 15 years older than Menolly.
As far as a sort of Medeterrainian background for Seball... he's related to Merlan, who is deffinately not that dark, although it is mentioned she tans easily as well. I'd say he just tans easy.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 12:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GHarris View Post
I think of Sebell as Mediterrandean/Arabic/Indian (as India the country), but a light enough shade of that type of ethnic mix that he can tan.

If there is a movie, I hope that they do pick someone of that ethnic background to play him.

Right now, I would probably pick the Indian doctor from Heroes to play him. That's my picture of him, and I'm sticking to it.

GH
...if that happened, I might just switch my Harper-crush from Robinton to Sebell. And that would just be weird. (Although I'd totally understand why Menolly went for Sebell then...he has a lovely voice...and he's pretty...)

ANYWAY...I tend to take the Harper Hall Trilogy as "more" canon than MHoP myself. So in my mind, Sebell isn't nearly as much older than Menolly as MHoP would imply, because he just walked the tables in Dragonsinger. I would guess he's about 5ish turns older than her, rather than the 15 or 20 MHoP implies.

(As for Sebell's skin color...despite Pern being in theory colonized from a diverse mix, Anne does tend...like many SFF writers...to have mains that are white ethically, or more specifically in her case...Irish or Welsh. So I suspect she imagines Sebell as mostly Caucasian, with brown eyes, brown hair, and skin that tans deeply. And as Hans said, there's People of Pern, and all of those other images of characters are pretty spot-on so you would think that AMC ok'd Sebell too, despite his bleached blond (!) hair.)

As for N'ton...who?

::runs::

Just kidding. Sort of. I don't know the dragon-riding cast beyond F'lar's clan all that well.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 03:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I always took the tanning as a strong indicator that he's been going on "missions" for Master Robinton.

There is no possible way to reconcile Sebell's having "just walked the tables" in Dragonsinger with his being Robinton's right-hand-man at the end of MHoP, seven Turns earlier.

Also, in DQ, when Robinton is getting ready to go to the Gather where T'ron challenges Flar... He brings along Sebell, Talmor, Tagetarl and Brudegan - and two come from the apprentice's barracks, two from the journeymen's barracks. It doesn't say which ones... but all four are Journeymen by the time of Dragonsinger, which takes place a few months later. This is consistent with Sebell having just walked the tables shortly before Menolly got there.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 11:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

One question about N'ton, wasn't asked, and was really in passing. Before he Impressed Lioth, F'lar and Lessa were discussing the candidates being brought in. F'lar had remarked that young Naton could even make Canth understand him. That discussion didn't go anywhere in N'ton's part, but led the way for F'lar finding out Lessa could speak to any dragon. Might it be speculated that originally N'ton should have been able to speak to any dragon as well?
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Old Nov 22 2008, 01:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

N'ton
Canth is a Search Dragon is he not? Dragons well speak to other beside their riders which we do know, and some people other than wyerfolks can hear dragons too. Here is a bit of any idea could there been dragonrider blood in N'ton family line which didn't show up that much for there has been only Benden Weyr and for the need for riders could come from Lower Cavern, and the Hold/Hall near Benden Weyr?

For a queen you well need a strong person and the records show F'lar what he was looking for. Its also known that Ruatha area has many dragonrider in its bloodline.

----
Here is a bit of a idea with the timing of MHoP and HHT: We see Sebell coming to the Harper Hall as a boy, some of his time as an apprentice show a bit about him being a jouneyman.

It could also be said that Robinton is looking for a new apprentice and or journeyman to add to his staff.

It could be in both DF and HH2 a different person who first public performace and "walking the table"
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Old Nov 22 2008, 03:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

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<snip>Might it be speculated that originally N'ton should have been able to speak to any dragon as well?
No, I don't think so. It was just an indication of the aptness Naton had, the promise of making a good dragnrider, wingleader and Weyrleader that F'lar saw in him. And as you said it was necessary for the story
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Old Nov 30 2008, 05:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

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One question about N'ton, wasn't asked, and was really in passing. Before he Impressed Lioth, F'lar and Lessa were discussing the candidates being brought in. F'lar had remarked that young Naton could even make Canth understand him. That discussion didn't go anywhere in N'ton's part, but led the way for F'lar finding out Lessa could speak to any dragon. Might it be speculated that originally N'ton should have been able to speak to any dragon as well?
Since dragons can understand pretty much anyone they want as long as they like the person, Naton's ability to communicate with Canth isn't that unusual.

Sebell's appearance in MHoP is another of those things where I think Anne just didn't have any memory of Sebell's age in other books, or bad editors, or bad note keeping, or something. Rather like Oteral's appearance from beyond the grave in Skies, she slipped Sebell into the story before he was born because she is just inconsistent in general, hence the phrase Anne-consistancy, plus then she could make them related to really play up the father/son dynamic they get going in that book but that is implied in several of the other books and Sebell's status as Robinton's successor, even though the craft is a meritocracy and their relationship shouldn't have as much bearing on the choice of successor as Sebell's overall skill at the craft.

Quote:
Somewhere along the book DS (HH2) his is Robintion oldest journeyman in the hall, resting in betwen his travels so he become Menolly mentor while he is in the hall
But Sebell is also the ONLY journeyman of Robinton's in the Hall, since Robinton likes to send his people out often and takes on few apprentices. As Piemur notes in DSinger, when Sebell walked the tables, everyone was wondering who the MH would pick to replace him, and Menolly became Robinton's special apprentice. Thus, Sebell had just been promoted to journeyman rank. So his age in the earlier books does not jive at all with MHoP.

But then, there are a LOT of things in MHoP that do not seem very canonical when put in context with the rest of the series, especially the earliest published books. Benden's position in society and the dragonriders' status as a whole don't stand well to comparison with earlier books where they had been on the outs for at least a couple centuries, ever since the non-occurance of the Pass that should have been mid-long interval. The position of women in earlier books is much more oppressed and powerless, and yet in MHoP women seem pretty liberated. As a whole, the book has a much more positive mood than one would expect from the growing chaos and unrest described in other books. Also, Robinton is a total Gary Stu and really annoying. But that's just me.

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Old Nov 30 2008, 03:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I suspect she didn't want the book to be too dark, so changed things... but that's going OT.
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Old Dec 4 2008, 05:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Re: N'ton's age:

If Robin Wood's illustration is accurate -- and with Anne's seal of approval on it, it's got to be at least a LITTLE accurate -- it looks like he could be anywhere from his mid 20s to his early 30s. But I suppose it depends on whether he looks old or young for his age, and which Turn you're asking about.



And, incidentally, she paints Sebell as Caucasian, possibly tanned or of an olive complexion (and I hate to pull out the political correctness, but seriously, do we have to refer to people of African/Middle Eastern/south Asian ancestry as "brown people"? Black, mixed, mestizo, dark-skinned, dark complexioned, even brown skinned, but "brown people" is a phrase you hear derided more often than not):

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Old Dec 4 2008, 05:23 PM   #21
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I have nothing useful to say on this topic, but while reading the latest update my son suddenly exclaimed that the picture on my screen (Sebell) was the same as the one on the wall. Glad he notices the artwork in the room!
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Old Dec 4 2008, 06:49 PM   #22
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I just finished re reading Dragon Song and Dragon Singer and my only thought regarding
Sebell as a "brown person" was in reference not only to his brown hair and eyes but his brown clothing....Menolly mentions later that seamen would be tan darker than him ....
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Old Dec 12 2008, 03:54 PM   #23
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

hey guys remember when silvina first came up to robintons office, i think he was discussing things with nip, and she brought up rantou and sebel, who are related to merelan...and therefore related to robinton. so all this brown buiseness is stupid, unless your going to tell us that robintons brown too, plus wheres merelans family from? what like half circle sea hold? or was that where petiron went when robinton became masterharper..or both? either way theyre related lol
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Old Dec 13 2008, 02:11 PM   #24
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

N'ton: how old is he supposed to be? specifically in DQ and TWD? I never quite figured out his age other then that he was a lot younger then F'lar. And secondly, how did he become Weyrleader at Fort? I can't seem to remember how that transpired - I completely missed it in the books.

Just my two cents worth, but, like others have said, N'ton impressed his bronze from Ramoth's first clutch. Then, and correct me if I'm wrong, did the entire clutch go back in time to allow Kylara's queen to mature enough to mate and produce a clutch of her own. N'ton went with them, didn't he?

So, with that reasoning, I figure that N'ton may have been younger than F'lar and Lessa, but he then aged several turns while he was in the past down south.

Sound good?!
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Old Dec 13 2008, 02:15 PM   #25
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I will have to double check but Merelan's family came from South Boll I think...
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Old Dec 13 2008, 04:48 PM   #26
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I'm pretty sure South Boll is right, Emerald Rose.
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Old Dec 19 2008, 09:35 AM   #27
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahlin_13 View Post
N'ton: how old is he supposed to be? specifically in DQ and TWD? I never quite figured out his age other then that he was a lot younger then F'lar. And secondly, how did he become Weyrleader at Fort? I can't seem to remember how that transpired - I completely missed it in the books.

Just my two cents worth, but, like others have said, N'ton impressed his bronze from Ramoth's first clutch. Then, and correct me if I'm wrong, did the entire clutch go back in time to allow Kylara's queen to mature enough to mate and produce a clutch of her own. N'ton went with them, didn't he?

So, with that reasoning, I figure that N'ton may have been younger than F'lar and Lessa, but he then aged several turns while he was in the past down south.

Sound good?!
Sounds relatively good. However, I'm not sure how many Turns they were in the South. Remember, Prideth only had one clutch while there, so they couldn't have been there more than a few Turns, even keeping in mind that it was ten turns before the Pass started. In Dragonquest, while F'lar is ill, he also still views N'ton as youthful. Therefore, N'ton couldn't have aged too much, which means that N'ton must have been more than a few years younger than F'lar and likely Lessa.
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Old Dec 20 2008, 01:16 PM   #28
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I believe that over many, many discussions, we (collective "we" - veteran members of MoM & AMCF/NKT) decided that they had been back in time/down south for four Turns.

Yet, what cracks me up is that after Lessa went back to the Eighth Pass, F'lar "recalled" the Southern Project back.

Why? Whether they were down there for four Turns, six Turns or the full ten Turns, they would have come back at the exact same time!

How did he know to bring them back after being down there four Turns? And if they were down there for ten Turns, then Pridith should have had more than one clutch.

Time travel - you're doing it wrong.
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Old Dec 21 2008, 07:27 AM   #29
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

I was under the impression there were several reasons, the most important one was the effect that being in two places at the same time cause stress (a thing Todd also makes much of in Dragonheart) for all riders and dragons. The Oldtimers didn't have that probem, they were long dead before the Ninth Pass started
Secondly there were minor problems like Kylara...

I agree on Pridiths's number of clutches, no matter how you look at it she should have had more.
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Old Mar 19 2020, 12:10 AM   #30
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Default Re: Questions about N'ton and Sebell?

F'lar only knew for certain that they'd been in the South long enough for Prideth to have had one clutch. And F'nor could image the Southern Weyr at that time because he'd been there at that time to check up on them.

Or possibly he got the placement directly from Prideth.
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